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Semantically Enabled SOS with Topic Maps

Paper, was published by Robert Barta and Thomas Bleier at 2008-10-01

This paper reports about a proof-of-concept implementation to replace a conventionally programmed web service with a semantically-enabled one.

External Link: download paper

Sensor Web Sensor Web Enablement is a consistent standardization effort of the OGC (Open Geo Consortium) to cope with an environment of pervasive sensor networks. Its ultimate goal is to define web-based interfaces to integrate dispersed and technically disparate sensors into one network, facilitating data aggregation for consolidated processing or user consumption.

As the webservice-oriented approach involves the exchange of XML documents encapsulating sensor meta information and data itself, much of the programming effort revolves around creating XML containers, filling them with content as mandated by the underlying XML schemas. If implemented conventionally, sensor meta-data, configuration information and sensor data itself has to be integrated (at least conceptually) before being funneled into the appropriate XML containers. This implementation technique is not only error-prone, but also cumbersome given the large amount of XML schemas to honor.

Here we report about a proof-of-concept implementation to replace a conventionally
programmed web service with a semantically-enabled one. For this we abandon any distinction between data and meta data and model the whole information space as one semantic network, specifically a topic map. Such maps consists of nodes (topics) carrying topical information, together with appropriate names and addressing information. But the maps also include node connections (associations) which reflect which and how various topics are connected.

Once pertinent information has been brought into this form, it is susceptible to be queried with a Topic Maps query language (TMQL). That way not only the different storage details can be ignored, TMQL can also directly generate XML content, relieving the implementor from this task.


Robert Barta

No contact information available. 


Robert is project leader of Perl XTM Engine (superseeded.. and Perl TM.

Thomas Bleier

No contact information available. 


Thomas is author of Semantic-Enabled.. and Semantically Enabled SOS.. .



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TMQL is the abbreviation for Topic Maps Query Language.

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Topic Maps helped us not only to overcome the difficulties with information organization, but they also opened us a way for presenting the content in a structured and easy navigable way.

Boro Milivojevic
Topic Maps Lab auf der Cebit 2011

Graduate from the Topic Maps Lab